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Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You’re Taking, The Sleep You’re Missing, The Sex You’re Not Having, and What’s Really Making You Feel Crazy | Penguin Press
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Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You’re Taking, The Sleep You’re Missing, The Sex You’re Not Having, and What’s Really Making You Feel Crazy



A groundbreaking health guide for women of all ages that shows women’s inherent moodiness is a strength, not a weakness, and medication is not always the answer.

Women are leaders, breadwinners, and caregivers. We’re leaning in so much we’re about to fall over. To take the edge off, many women pop a pill, eat something sugary, have a drink, or spend mindless time online. These activities quickly become patterns that take an enormous toll on women’s bodies and natural hormonal balance.

Women are made to be moody and, according to Dr. Holland, that’s a strength—not a weakness. Our culture tells us otherwise, but when used properly, moodiness is power.

By design, our hormones ebb and flow over a twenty-eight-day cycle and wax and wane over decades of fertility. Women are naturally emotional and empathetic because of these fluctuations and our evolutionary role as caretakers. Our moods govern our reproductive cycle, but they are also a smart feedback system. They let us know when our bodies are primed to tackle different challenges and when we should be alert to developing problems.

But millions of American women are medicating away their hormones because the culture says that moodiness is a problem to be fixed. One in four American women takes a psychiatric drug, be it an antidepressant, antipsychotic, or antianxiety medication. If you add sleeping pills to the mix, the statistics become considerably higher. In major metropolitan areas, the number of medicated women doubles.

Medicating away our natural moods can have devastating consequences for women in many areas of their lives: sex, relationships, sleep, eating, focus, balance, and aging. Unnecessary prescription drug use introduces a host of problems into these basic activities.

Dr. Julie Holland knows there is a better way. She’s been sharing her frank and funny wisdom with her patients for years, and in Moody Bitches Dr. Holland offers readers insider information about the pros and cons of the drugs they’re being offered, as well as some surprising and highly effective, individual, natural therapies that can help them press the reset button in their own bodies and minds.

In the tradition of Our Bodies, Our Selves, this groundbreaking guide for all ages will forge a much needed new path in women’s health—and offer women invaluable information on how to be better, more balanced bitches at every stage of life.



Praise

“In a frank style—think good friend who’s a doctor—Holland examines how prescription drugs work in relation to the stages of women’s lives. This guidance is aligned with recommendations for healthy diet and exercise practices that naturally equalize the body’s systems.” —Library Journal

“Feeling moody or bitchy doesn’t mean you have a substandard brain or a psychiatric-medication-du-jour deficiency. In her groundbreaking new book, psychiatrist Dr. Julie Holland tells you exactly how to work with your unique brain and body chemistry and embrace and upgrade all of your feelings.”—Christiane Northrup, M.D., author, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom

“Not just informative, Moody Bitches is funny and provocative. An important guide to health and well being for women of all ages.”—Laura Corio, M.D., author, The Change Before the Change

“This is the most important book on being a woman since Our Bodies, Our Selves. Scientific yet compassionate, Dr. Julie Holland provides actionable, state-of-the-art advice on how women can navigate through an ever-changing hormonal landscape. She not only gives women new command over their bodies, but also shows how extreme moods and emotions might better be listened to than chemically suppressed.”—Douglas Rushkoff, author, Present Shock

“Dr. Julie Holland gives us a deftly written, deeply insightful exploration of women’s hormonal fluctuations, sensitivities, and mind states not as pathology to be medicated but as an expression of their true selves. Moody Bitches is both engrossing theory and a practical guide enabling women to remain natural in an unnatural world.”—Gabor MatĂ©, M.D., author When the Body Says No

“This book should be read by moody bitches everywhere and the befuddled bastards who love them. Dr. Julie Holland has distilled decade of clinical and personal experience into a radically commonsense approach to the fluctuations of femininity.”—Cacilda Jetha, M.D., and Christopher Ryan, Ph.D., coauthors, Sex at Dawn

“Myself, I’m a moody bastard, but I’ve learned a ton from this brisk, provocative, and instructive book. Dr. Julie Holland writes with the authority of a clinician, the warmth of a good friend, and the urgency of someone who really cares.”—Joshua Wolf Shenk, author, Power of Two

“Finally, an evidence-based guide to health for women, by a woman, that speaks to the mind, body, and spirit of womanhood. An invaluable manual for moody bitches and essential reading for anyone who knows one.”—Andrew Weil, M.D., author, Spontaneous Happiness

Excerpt

I sat down across from a television host in the studio, chatting before we rolled tape. She seemed pert, energetic, and emotionally connected. We hit it off immediately and were enjoying hushed banter that ensues before taping; then I noticed her fingernails were bitten down quite a bit. When I asked her about it, she told me her therapist had consistently recommended she take medication to “calm her nerves,” but she was resistant.

“I bet your anxiety helps you in your work,” I offered. “You have to be hyperaware to know what’s a good story to cover and perceptive about when and how to push certain questions during an interview. Also, I assume you have obsessive traits that probably help you stay organized and productive, leaving no stone unturned.”

She looked at me like I truly understood her. “Yes.” She stared at me, dumbfounded. “Yes!” she repeated. “It’s also just who I am: I am nervous, wired, jumpy. I’ve always been like this. Why would I want to medicate away my own basic personality?”

Why indeed?

It reminded me of the day I spent last winter, sick with the flu, flat on my back. I canceled most of my patients and just kept a few as phone sessions, mostly because I enjoy connecting with them and felt horrible about canceling at the last minute. I was talking with a patient who’d been off her Lexapro for years, making it in the world of corporate law unmedicated, which can’t be easy (my lawyers are a miserable bunch).

Many times, when she hits roadblocks, we’re both tempted to go back to the devil we do know, her SSRI. During our phone session, she told me how anxious she’d been, but also how she appreciated her anxiety for what it is: a sign that something needs fixing. “When I feel it, I say to myself, this is a signal for self-preservation. ‘Danger! Do something!’ So I stop, and I look around and say, ‘What’s making me anxious?’”

For many of my patients and for many of the women I meet, it often seems as if there are two choices: You can be desperately moody but in touch with yourself or you can be masculine, efficient, and rational but out of touch with events in and around you. The first choice is often seen as a sickness to be cured. The second choice can be effective in the working world, but it comes with some difficult baggage.

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